Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Amish Friendship Cake


Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) 

The golden-rod is yellow; 
The corn is turning brown; 
The trees in apple orchards 
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes 
Are curling in the sun; 
In dusty pods the milkweed 
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest, 
In every meadow nook; 
And asters by the brook-side 
Make asters in the brook,

From dewy lanes at morning 
The grapes' sweet odors rise; 
At noon the roads all flutter 
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens 
September days are here, 
With summer's best of weather, 
And autumn's best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty 
Which floods the earth and air 
Is unto me the secret 
Which makes September fair.

'T is a thing which I remember; 
To name it thrills me yet: 
One day of one September 
I never can forget.
Editor's Note: When I was in the fourth grade in the 60's, our teacher, Mrs. Knoll, had us memorize poems. She would assign you a stanza and you better know it when she pointed to you to say it. She would have different kids say stanzas from memory and then we could hear the whole poem. To this day, over 40 years later, I can recite from memory the first stanza of this poem and it always reminds me of 4th grade and being nine in Catholic School :)


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(My Mom would say it was my little sister who bloomed today :) )

Pond and Bog Plants


bringing you the quirky, funniest and most interesting tweets from Twitter that we came across.  
My $11 grilled cheese just read me one of its poems. @fleshcake  

Millions of trees are accidentally planted by squirrels who bury nuts and then forget where they hid them. 
Fall is definitely coming up fast! The sun is gentler somehow and I see with sadness that most all of the annuals are gone, with just a few hanging on in a blaze of color.

Happy, though that we planned our garden so that when the summer was over the Fall color begins! The chrysanthemums  are budding and soon will be a riot of color. We have been steadily planting them all Spring and Summer to add to our already beautiful group. 
CASEY ANTHONY: Oh, no! Did that chicken peck through the duct tape and get out of the trunk?

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh darn it, he's a maverick!

GEORGE W. BUSH: The chicken crossed the road because the bank where he kept all the money he made on oil was on the other side.

TEA PARTY MEMBER: The chicken did not cross the road because he saw what was on the other side.

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken, like all hard working Americans, crossed the road because he was filled with Hope and Change for a better life and when you spread the Hope and Change around it's good for all the chickens.

HOSNI MUBARAK: I tried to prevent the chicken from crossing the road but when I lost American support he did what he damned well pleased.

JOE BIDEN: Because we spent $11 billion building high speed rail to cross the roads.

ANDERSON COOPER: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH: I am innocent of the charges that I took $20.00 to tell that chicken to cross the road!

NANCY PELOSI: Chickens will do whatever I tell them to, that's why.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

OPRAH WINFREY: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

JOHN McCAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: He was trying to get away from some intolerant Republicans and form a cluckus with other chickens of similar minds.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me. 

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Under threat from al Qaeda, the chicken had to get to his secret, undisclosed location.

HUGO CHAVEZ: The chicken crossed the road to stomp out oppressive American capitalist imperialism!

TED KENNEDY: The chicken crossed that road because I wasn't driving the car.

BILL O'REILLY: Because he's a pinhead!

RONALD REAGAN: I went to Berlin and demanded that Mr. Gorbachev tear down that wall and the people did so the chicken could cross the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE: I invented the chicken. 



"There's a miracle called friendship that dwells within the heart, and you don't know how it happens or when it gets its start. but the happiness it brings you always gives a special lift, and you realize that friendship is God's precious gift."

This has to be one of my favorite old recipes. It combines the old method of using a starter that you share with friends to make a delicious old-style cake that is rich and very adaptable to whatever you want to throw in with it.
My advice? DON'T BE AFRAID. It is super easy, super yummy and if it gets to be too much, throw it into the freezer until you are ready to start again. The best part? Make some new friends and reconnect with old ones when you share the starter (it's part of the recipe). The most important thing to remember? Do Not Refrigerate. It needs to sit on the counter to work.
To start:
Make the Starter. Mix in a clear plastic bag or bowl with lid:
(1) cup flour
(1) cup sugar
(1) cup milk


Day 1: Do Nothing.
Day 2, 3, 4 and 5: Mush the bag or stir bowl twice a day!
 Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Mush the bag or stir bowl until mixed well.
Day 7, 8 and 9: Let the air out and mush the bag well or stir twice a day.
 Day 10: Perform the following:
Pour and squeeze the starter into a large bowl. Add 1 cup milk and 1 cup sugar. Stir together and pour 1 cup starters into 4 zip lock bags. Save one for yourself and give the other three to friends, with a copy of this recipe.
You will have some left in the bowl. Add 1 cup of oil (for a lower fat version you can use (1) cup applesauce), ½ cup milk, 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla to mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 ½ tsps baking powder, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 lg box vanilla instant pudding mix, and I cup nuts.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together.
(OPTIONAL TOPPING) In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon, set aside .
Spray 2 loaf pans or 1 bundt pan with non-stick coating. Pour in batter and add optional topping.
Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.

Alternate Add-ins: raisins, shredded apples, peaches, dried cherries, dates, bananas, pumpkin, pineapple, applesauce, etc.
 Editor's Note: Here is the file you can print out to give with the starter when you share!

On today in American history, people in gardens everywhere were talking about:
1519 Magellan sets sail to explore the world
1565 First European battle on American soil
1881 Chester B. Arthur becomes the third President in one year
1946 First Cannes Film Festival
1960 Mickey Thompson tried to become the fastest driver in history
1963 Kennedy proposes joint operation to the moon
1973 Billie Jean King triumphs in Battle of the Sexes
2006 In a speech to the United Nations Hugo Chavez repeatedly refers to George W. Bush as 'the devil'
2012 Arctic Ice shrinks to half-1980 size

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